Bacteria and fungi live on the skin of healthy animals, including dogs and cats. The feet, being what they are - on the ground, walking in stuff, and occasionally licked by the dog's tongue (containing additional microbes) - may have more of an odor than the rest of the body. And thankfully, this faintly-food-related smell is, in most cases, just a curiosity.
But what if this odor is a problem?There are many possible conditions that could cause a foul odor of feet. Here are a few:
- Bacterial or fungal infection (overgrowth of normal or pathologic microbes causing disease).
- Grass awn or other foreign body causing an irritation or abscess.
- Skin tumor (e.g. foot melanoma) or lick sore that has become ulcerated or infected.
- Toe nail injury or nail bed infection.
Signs that indicate a possible problem
- Flaky/crusty skin or foot pads.
- Redness, licking, hair loss.
- Lumps, bumps, swellings between or on toes.
- Cracked, flaky or broken toenails.
- Moistness or drainage (from skin surface or from wound).
- Limping or change in gait.